It is very exciting to be the principal of Paulo Freire Freedom School – University. It is a privilege to be part of this small, personalized school that respects and nurtures all students while creating engaging and rigorous learning opportunities to help them develop socially, emotionally, and academically. Being a part of this talented and dedicated team that has chosen to work so diligently with our students is one of the great joys of my life.
I loved my time teaching at DeLaSalle High School on the south side of Chicago; at Buyuk Kolej in Ankara, Turkey; and at the University of Montana in Missoula; however, it was my eight years of teaching at City High School that most informed my understanding of how powerful, authentic teaching and learning can transform the lives of students. The partnership between the two Paulo Freire Freedom Schools and City High School is a model of how educators can work together to change the lives of students.
As an SRI Critical Friendship national facilitator, I’ve had the opportunity to empower teachers across the country to work together in PLCs. I believe teachers are intellectuals and schools should be hubs of collaboration. Paulo Freire Freedom School is a beacon of collaboration, both through project-based learning and public demonstrations of learning. Our teachers collaborate to create rigorous, authentic, real-world learning opportunities for our students. It is this powerful, socially just work that sustains us.
My partner Laura Gronewold, who is the Director of Education at Ben’s Bells, and I enjoy spending our free time cooking and eating, exploring the outdoors, reading, and raising an adorable toddler.